Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ten of the best fossils in literature

At the Guardian, John Mullan named ten of the best fossils in literature.

One novel on the list:
Possession by AS Byatt

Byatt gives her Victorian poets/lovers – Randolph Ash and Christabel LaMotte – the educated enthusiasms of the age, which naturally include fossil collection. They go off on a clandestine romantic holiday to the North Yorkshire coast where they hunt for fossils. In his letters to his wife Randolph mentions the jet he finds on sale in Whitby, and how "ancient ammonite worms find new lives as polished brooches". He does not mention purchasing such things for his mistress.
Read about another novel on the list.

Possession also appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the most memorable libraries in literature, ten of the best fictional poets, ten of the best locks of hair in fiction, ten of the best graveyard scenes in fiction, and ten of the best lawyers in literature, and on Christina Koning's top six romances critic's chart and Elizabeth Kostova's top ten list of books for winter nights.

--Marshal Zeringue